The importance of physical fitness and health for single moms

Since becoming a single mom the minute my oldest was born in 2007 I can say definitively the most important aspect for making it through life’s many challenges is being flexible enough to confront change, handle it and make decisions. Being physically fit should be a high priority for most single moms yet with the current economy, financial pressures, managing a household and your career that can be next to impossible.

In 2011, the American Sociological Association did a study on the long term health effects for unwed mothers and single moms. They found that a larger portion of women who were unwed mothers suffered more health consequences at mid-age. To go further, if you are unable to handle the changes in your life effectively it can cause depression up to and including physical health problems. There are countless examples of this such as with Zachary Hawkins, author of Statistics to Success, (A book about helping single moms raise sons) whose mother suffered from depression and health problems which impacted her relationship with her sons.

Creating a healthy lifestyle as a priority for single moms

I am a very busy single mom that manages a career, a business, three kids under the age of 5 and still find time for fitness. I just got a physical and I’m in good health but I do have elevated cholesterol which I’m on the road to controlling through proper diet. I used to be obsessed with losing the baby weight. I tried everything to get back to the size 4 I used to be but when I began to shift the focus from losing weight to keeping healthy I ended up losing a lot of the stress associated with dieting. I also began to lose the guilt over non-regular workouts and in the process I began to release a lot of insecurities about my looks. I even stopped dating so that I could put the focus back on my health, my family, my home and my career. Here are some habits and changes that were a lot easier for me, then jumping onto the next diet fad.

Scheduling meal times

I actually began to schedule in 6 meals a day. YES! I eat six times a day and I drink a glass of water with each meal so that I know I’m getting the right amount of water. All I did was in Google Calendar, I set up a daily reminder that sends me a text message. I had this repeating now and it will end in four weeks. Each reminder, reminds me to get something to eat. This way I never feel full and I don’t snack if I don’t have to. Plus the best part is this is free. I’ve actually used the Medifast method and I keep each meal between 100 to 150 calories and then either dinner or breakfast is a lean protein based meal with a vegetable.

Get your thirty minutes of exercise daily

Do what you can to get your 30 minutes of exercise daily. It doesn’t necessarily have to be high impact or high intensity. Walk for 30 minutes, do intense housework such as vacuuming and mopping, go to the pool with the kids and walk or swim in the water, perform yoga or tai chi, put on an exercise DVD or video game and more. I love running and walking at the park. Since it has become too hot though in TX, I signed up for the kid’s club membership at the gym I attend. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, with water bottles in hand, it has been a lifesaver for me and the kids have made some friends at the gym.

Foods  I cut out

I’m a coffee drinker in the mornings so I don’t cut out caffeine. However I began drinking my coffee black with two splenda. Also, I drink diet sodas instead of regular but really I don’t have a stomach for diet sodas because I have been drinking more water. I also cut out dairy such as milk and cheese. If I do get a burger it’s with no cheese and no mayo. Frankly though many will give a lot of grief over eating just 1000 calories a day but this is what I can stick to and I don’t feel full. Plus what I do is indulge in a frozen yogurt fruit bar or a dessert after dinner to stay in line with 1200 calories.

What I added to my diet

I have very little time to cook so I decided to get more ready made meals added to my diet as well as meal replacements. The meal replacements that I am currently trying are a part of a personal Body by Vi challenge with Visalus for the next 30 days. I will be doing a weekly and end of month product review on the Body by Vi challenge. I believe that with the assistance of the additional things I’m adding into the mix, this should prove workable for moms and single moms with no time to diet and need something easy. Of great importance is to also add your vitamins and Omega 3′s. I can honestly say that I have been neglecting taking my multivitamin. Multi-vitamins are essential and you should take them early on but as I hit my thirties I realize the importance of taking them daily. So I’ve been taking my multi-vitamins and Omega 3′s. I’m also considering adding L-Arginine. Dr. Oz talked about taking this supplement to help reduce belly fat. Now remember, before you start any diet and exercise program consult with your doctor. I just had a physical so I discussed adding that vitamin and the Visalus shakes to my plan.

My favorite easy to blend dessert shake from Visalus 

Ingredients:

2 Scoops Visalus Shake Mix

Directions:

 8 oz. Unsweetened Original Almond milk
2 scoops Vi-Shape shake mix
1/4th tsp. Orange extract ( depends on your taste )
2 packets of Chocolate Cardia Care Health Flavor Mix-in (or 1 packet and 1 Tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp. Hershey’s Unsweetened Special DARK Cocoa powder 100% Cacao
2 to 4 ice cubes
Blend well in blender.
For more recipes for Visalus shakes, click here! You can also consider taking the Body by Vi challenge. Get some great tips when you sign up here!

Disclaimer: The above post may contain affiliate links. Also, I received a thirty day complimentary supply for Visalus products in exchange for a sponsored post. All opinions presented are 100% my own.Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net